The number of jobs for environmental engineers is forecasted to grow 8.3% by 2026.
-By Mukesh Kwatra
Environmental Engineering is the application of science and engineering principles towards making a positive impact on the environment and society at large. Climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and loss of biodiversity are few of the various environmental issues confronting us. The average increase in temperature of the earth has been more than twice the actual rate and according to reports the world is expected to run out of natural resources in the next 60 years. Environmental Engineers study to develop skills, knowledge and understanding to take on the various environmental challenges against a backdrop of economic factors, environmental compliance, national and international legislations.
The number of jobs for environmental engineers is forecasted to grow 8.3% by 2026. There is projected to be about 4,000 openings on an average every year for the professionals in this field in the next few years giving environment enthusiasts a great opportunity to work towards finding solutions to the current environment problems.
Role of Environmental Engineering for Sustainable Development
Environmental Engineering plays an important role in various ways to protect the environment and help in sustainable development. It helps in prevention of soil erosion, conservation of forests, reducing air and water pollution levels, developing smart agriculture, preservation of energy and use of renewable sources.
Flourishing Career Scopes
The fields where Environmental Engineering is mainly applied for are, management of natural resources, conservation of ecosystem and biodiversity, prevention and control of pollution.
It has huge career scope in the following fields:
Compliance of Environmental laws is mandatory for businesses. Environmental Engineers help attain these goals besides working towards adopting clean and green technologies with effective waste management and reduced pollution levels.
Environmental consultants are employed by governments, industries and NGOs to conduct a variety of analysis or field-based studies, often required in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and other compliance processes.
Research and Development
The opportunities in this area include studying and researching different types of pollution, their causes and effects, development of clean and efficient technologies for future.
Environmental Engineering courses are increasingly being offered by various academic institutions. A large number of teachers or academicians are required to fulfill the growing demand.
Environmental quality certifications like ISO-14000 are also being included in marketing strategies, which creates career opportunities. Development of green environment friendly products and their marketing is another upcoming field.
Job opportunities for Environmental Engineers are available in government bodies such as environmental ministry, pollution control boards, national parks, and biosphere reserves.
Eligible human resources in the field are required to implement environmental projects of various international organizations such as UNEP, IUCN, TSBF, and World Bank.
Besides, some of the following positions are in great demand for environmental engineers:
Water project manager
Water is one of the most important natural resources for life to survive on Earth. That is primarily why a water project manager position is significant. This field opens many opportunities in fields like waste water project manager, storm water management, flood risk manager, conservation of water manager, rain water harvesting manager and more. Background in civil engineering along with preferably a master’s degree would help someone willing to make a career in this field.
Environmental health and safety director
If you wish to work as an environmental health and safety director you will be responsible for working behind the scenes ensuring that the company is compliant to the rules and regulations framed for protection of the environment and also need to promote new solutions to enhance and encourage the sustainable design and practices.
A master’s degree is highly credible to become an environmental health and safety director. Responsibilities of this position are reporting sustainability initiatives to the public, creating a sustainability program for the company, explaining the business risks, developing partnerships, ensuring safety and environmental standards.
Green building engineer
Sustainable buildings that are beneficial for the environment and leave less carbon footprint are increasingly in demand. The scope in this field is growing and the main responsibility of a green building engineer is to cut down on consumption of energy and build sustainable buildings that will have maximum amount of natural light, ventilation and insulation.
Geologists play an important role as they find and develop solutions to problems related to environmental geology. Geologists position provides you with opportunities like working with glacial geology, stream of geoscience, ground investigation and other related fields. Educational qualification like bachelor’s degree in earth science, geologist or another related field would help anyone willing to make a career in this field.
As an ecologist you will work in order to protect the flora and fauna, study the ecology to maintain the ecological balance, help tackle environmental problems like floods, acid rains and more. Besides, an ecologist has duties like research work, conducting studies, making models to visualise large scale experiment studies. The educational qualification required is a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and engineering, in ecology, biology or other associated fields.
The job prospects for Environmental Engineers are undoubtedly very bright in the coming future. Besides academic qualifications, one needs to be responsible towards the environment, focused and passionate, have skills in areas such as interdisciplinary teamwork, effective communication, networking and time resource management, to make a successful career in this sector.
The author is the founder of Smiling Tree.